Xinhua Chief Editor Dies in ‘Suicide’: Is Xi Jinping ‘Cleaning Up’ China’s Propaganda Departments?
Deaths under unusual circumstances have recently occurred
within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officialdom.
Li Wufeng, Deputy Director of the State Council
Information Office, died after falling from a building.
Following this, Song Bin, Deputy Director of Xinhua
News Agency in Anhui Province, died mysteriously
in his office on the evening of April 28.
At 7pm on April 28, Song Bin was found dead in his office.
Sources from Xinhua News Agency
revealed that he hanged himself.
He left a suicide note, and was
said to suffer from depression.
Song Bin’s peers described him as a
“relatively generous and capable drinker”
An acquaintance of Song Bin expressed his
disbelief as Song Bin had been quite outgoing.
Song Bin, a 1984 graduate from Anhui
University, had a major in Chinese.
After working at the Anhui Xinhua Branch for many years, in
May 2009 he became Deputy Director and Editor-in-Chief.
Much speculation surrounds his death,
but there has been no official response.
Chris Wu, Editor-in-Chief at China Affairs magazine,
analyses that Song Bin was probably under a lot
of pressure for his occupation in the news media.
Chris Wu:”The CCP demands tight
controls of the Internet and the press.
As a professional in the field, the stress was
possibly higher than what he could have managed”
Hua Po, Beijing political observer:”One
thing is that he committed suicide, and a
second is that he might have been silenced.
He might have been involved in some complicated
issues, otherwise, he would not have been killed.
As Xinhua is a predominant source of propaganda,
he could have been relatively clean compared to others.
Howver, after all, there are also
interests involved in propaganda”
Sources suggest Song Bin’s suicide may be related
to the investigation of former Anhui Provincial Party
Committee Propaganda Minister Zang Shikai.
Prior to November 2011, Zang Shikai had been
a Standing Committee member in Anhui, and the
Minister of Anhui Provincial Propaganda Department.
After that, he became Deputy Director of the Standing
Committee of Anhui National People’s Congress.
A number of Anhui officials have been
detained for interrogation recently.
This includes Chuzhou Municipal Committee Secretary
Jiang Shan, who allegedly embezzled 56 million yuan.
If convicted, this will be the highest corruption case in Anhui.
The Anhui Tourism Bureau Director was sacked on March 25.
The former secretary of Huangshan Municipal
Committee, Wang Jianshe, has been sentenced.
Analysts believe investigations will
be directed towards Zang Shikai.
However, it is not known how Song Bin’s
death may be related to Zang Shikai.
Current affairs commentator Wang Beiji analyzes that
with several propaganda officials being investigated
or dying mysteriously, it is likely that CCP internal
conflicts are targeting the propaganda departments.
Wang Beiji, current affairs commentator:
“The CCP is a political meat grinder.
Internal fights are beyond imagination
in terms of brutality and cruelty.
They do not just target powerless people, but
also the cadres in the event of conflict of interest.
The best cover it uses for murder is ‘suicide’”
On March 24, the State Council Information Office
Deputy Director Li Wufeng died after falling from a building.
Subsequently, three officials of
China Publishing Group were sacked.
Shen Weichen, Deputy Minister of
Propaganda was investigated on April 12.
Gao Jianyun, Deputy Director of the Foreign Propaganda
Office, was detained and interrogated on April 18.
Since Xi Jinping engaged in his anti-corruption campaign,
a large number of corrupt officials have been sacked from
the railway system, political and legal system, oil system,
and provincial governments, such as Sichuan and Shanxi.
Propaganda has long been dominated
by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin.
Analysts believe Zhongnanhai’s recent move
against propaganda signals that Xi Jinping might
be ‘cleaning up’ the propaganda departments.
HK’s Trends magazine reported on information disclosed
by Central Second Inspection team leader Li Jingtian.
During the inspection at Xinhua News Agency,
there were so-called”top secret” and”confidential”
materials prohibited from being investigated.
The investigation was either interfered with by instruction
from some leadership or opposed by groups of members.
Sources also said that the inspection
team has stationed itself in CCTV.
There has been an investigation
against the Director Hu Zhanfan.
This news has already been censored.
Wang Beiji points out that the anti-humanity nature
of the CCP places everyone under high pressure.
Those who hold secrets of the CCP could be violent
abusers today, but victims of suicide or murder tomorrow.
Interview & Edit/LiYun Post-Production/Chen Jianming